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Full text of "The long-term Illinois River fish population monitoring program, F-101-R-8 : annual report"

The Long-Term Illinois River Fish Population 
Monitoring Program 

F-lOl-R-8 

Annual Report 



Todd M. Koel, Richard E. Sparks, K. Douglas Blodgett, 
and Scott D. Whitney 



Illinois Natural History Survey 

LTRMP Havana Field Station 

704 North Schrader Avenue 

Havana, Illinois 62644-1055 




Center for Aquatic Ecology Technical Report 97/14 



The Long-term Illinois River Fish Population 
Monitoring Program 

F-101-R-8 
Annual Report 

Todd M. Koel, Richard E. Sparks, K. Douglas Blodgett, and Scott D. Whitney 



Illinois Natural History Survey 
LTRMP Havana Field Station 
704 North Schrader Avenue 
Havana, Illinois 62644-1055 



December 1997 



Dr. R.E. Sparks, Principal Investigator '4^.D. BfodgOt, Co-Investigator 

Center for Aquatic Ecology Center for Aquatic Ecology 

Illinois Natural History Survey Illinois Natural History Sun/ey 



Dr. T.M. Koel, Project Manager Dr. D.P. Philipp, Director 

Center for Aquatic Ecology Center for Aquatic Ecology 

Illinois Natural History Survey Illinois Natural History Survey 



DISCLAIMER 

The findings, conclusions, and views expressed herein are those of the 

researchers and should not be considered as the official position of the United 
States Fish and Wildlife Service or the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 

ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF SUPPORT 

The Long-term Illinois River Fish Population Monitoring Program (F-101-R) is 
supported by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act (P.L. 81-681, Dingell- 
JohnsonAA/allop-Breaux). 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

Between 26 August and 1 9 September 1 996, 26 sites on the Illinois River 
Waterway and one site on Reach 26 of the Mississippi River were electrofished to 
monitor fish communities. A total of 5,062 fish representing 41 species (plus two 
hybrids) from 1 1 families were collected during 24.75 h of sampling. Our monitoring 
indicated the abundance of an important forage species, gizzard shad, and the 
continued recovery of several sport fishes such as white bass and bluegill. Gizzard 
shad represented 48.4% of the total catch in numbers and was present at all 27 
sites, followed by white bass (8.9%, 20 sites), and bluegill (8.1%, 25 sites). 
Common carp and goldfish, often regarded as indicators of polluted or degraded 
river environments, comprised only 6.4% and 0.2% of the total catch, respectively. 
Mud darter and silverband shiner were collected for the first time during project F- 
1 01 -R sampling from Henry Island (RM 1 93.9, Peoria Reach). The sample from 
Pekin (RM 1 54.9, La Grange Reach) yielded the most fish (524, 1 0.4% of the total 
collected from all 27 sites). Species richness at sites ranged from 20 at Detweiller 
Marina (RM 170.7) in Peoria Reach to 8 at Bulls Island (RM 240.7) in Starved Rock 
Reach. Species richness of the lower, middle, and upper wateoA/ay was 23, 38, and 
23, respectively. In 1996 we noticed a decline in small cyprinid abundance in the 
upper waterway compared to that observed in 1 995. Although emerald shiner 
ranked second by relative abundance (7.7%) in Starved Rock Reach, the catch in 
numbers (CPUEn) was only 11.50 in 1996, compared to 438.50 in 1995. Also, 
bullhead minnow were not collected in any upper waten^'ay reach in 1996, and 
bluntnose minnow were not collected in either Starved Rock or Marseilles reaches. 
Emerald shiner and bullhead minnow were among the most abundant species 
collected in these reaches in 1995. Important sportfish species such as channel 
catfish and largemouth bass were collected in all three waterway segments in 1996. 
Channel catfish CPUE^ in Alton Reach (lower waterway) was 19.40, which is the 
highest catch rate for this species in this reach since 1989. Largemouth bass 
CPUEn was highest in Peoria Reach (7.38) but catches were also high in Dresden 
and Alton Reaches where CPUE^ was 6.00 and 5.80, respectively. As in previous 
years, common carp continued to be an abundant species in La Grange Reach of 
the middle watenA'ay (CPUEn=36.36), but the species was not abundant in the upper 
wateoA'ay. However, when considering the catch rate in terms of pounds of fish 
collected per hour (CPUEw), common carp was the dominant species in all except 
Starved Rock and Alton Reaches. Common carp CPUEw ranged from 71.15 in La 
Grange Reach to 4.93 in Starved Rock Reach. Smallmouth buffalo CPUE^ was 
highest in Starved Rock Reach, and channel catfish CPUE^ was highest in Alton 
Reach, at 8.97 and 19.06, respectively. Sediment-contact fishes (e.g., common 
carp) had a higher incidence of externally-visible abnormalities than water-column 
fishes (e.g., bluegill). The highest incidence occurred in the upper waterway, where 
34.2% of benthic fishes had abnormalities in 1 996. This indicates that stressful 
factors are associated with sediments in the Chicago-Joliet area. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Title and Signature Page 

DISCLAIMER 

ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF SUPPORT 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

TABLE OF CONTENTS iv 

LIST OF TABLES vi 

LIST OF FIGURES vii 

INDEX TO JOB ACCOMPLISHMENTS viii 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix 

INTRODUCTION 1 

STUDY AREA AND METHODS 1 

DATA ANALYSIS 4 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 5 

A CONDITIONS DURING ELECTROFISHING RUNS 5 

B ELECTROFISHING RESULTS 6 

Numbers of Fish Collected 6 

Catch Rates in Number of Individuals Collected 

per Hour by Reach 13 

Alton (lower river) 13 

La Grange (middle river) 16 

Peoria (middle river) 17 



Starved Rock (upper river) 17 

Marseilles (upper river) 18 

Dresden (Des Plaines River) "19 

Catch Rates in V^/eight (pounds) Coilected 

per Hour by Reach 19 

Alton (lower river) 20 

La Grange (middle river) 20 

Peoria (middle river) 23 

Starved Rock (upper river) 23 

Marseilles (upper river) 24 

Dresden (Des Plaines River) 24 

Fish Health Determined by External Visual 

Inspection 25 

CONCLUSIONS 25 

LITERATURE CITED 29 

APPENDIX A 31 

APPENDIX B 33 



LIST OF TABLES 

Table 1 Station information and characteristics during sampling 

in 1995 2 

Table 2 Number of individuals of each fish species collected on the 
Mississippi River (Bnckhouse Slough) and the lower Illinois 
River (Alton Reach, RM 0-80) in 1996 8 

Table 3 Number of individuals of each fish species collected on 

La Grange Reach (RM 80-158) of the middle Illinois River 

(RM 80-231) in 1995 10 

Table 4 Number of individuals of each fish species collected on 
Peoria Reach (RM 158-231) of the middle Illinois River 
(RM 80-231) in 1995 11 

Table 5 Number of individuals of each fish species collected in 

Starved Rock, Marseilles, and Dresden Reaches of the upper 

Illinois Waterway (RM 231-280) in 1996 12 

Table 6 Number of individuals of each fish species collected per 
hour of electrofishing at Reach 26 of the Mississippi River 
(Bnckhouse Slough) and at six reaches of the Illinois River 
Waterway in 1 996 14 

Table 7. Species ranked by relative abundance in number of fish 

collected per hour for 1 995 15 

Table 8 Pounds of each fish species collected per tiour of 
electrofishing at Reach 26 of the Mississippi River 
(Bnckhouse Slough) and at six reaches of the Illinois River 
Waterway in 1 995 21 

Table 9 Species ranked by relative abundance in pounds offish 

collected per hour for 1 995 22 



LIST OF FIGURES 

Figure 1 . Three segments of the Illinois River sampled by 

electrofishing to monitor fish communities in 1996 3 

Figure 2. Percent of sediment-contact and v/ater-column fishes 

with externally visible abnormalities (e.g., sores, eroded 

fins) collected from the Illinois River Waterway in 1 996 26 



INDEX TO JOB ACCOMPLISHMENTS 

Job V Prepare electrofishing equipment and tram staff 5 

Job 2 Sample by electrofishing at 27 sites along the Illinois 

River Waterway and Reach 25 of the Mississippi River 5 

Job 3 Update computer database 5 

Job 4 Analyze data 5 

Job 5 Presentation of results 33 

^Job numbers and titles refer to the F-101-R-5 annual work plan dated 12 January 1995 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Project F-101-R Is supported by the Federal Aid to Sportfish Restoration Act 
(P.L 81-681, Dingell-JohnsonAA/allop-Breaux), with funds administered by the US 
Fish and Wildlife Service and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). 
Mr^ Larry Dunham (IDNR); Mr Bill Bertrand (IDNR): Mr, Michael Sweet (IDNR); Dr. 
Lorin Nevling, Chief of the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), Dr. Edward 
Armbrust, Acting Chief (INHS), and Dr. David Phillip, Director of the Center for 
Aquatic Ecology (INHS); provided administrative support, Ms Cammy Smith of the 
Long Term Resource Monitoring Program Field Station at Havana provided 
secretarial support Mr Mark Hoecker and Mr. Thomas Lerczak assisted with the 
field work This survey was originally conceived and initiated in 1957 by the late Dr. 
William C. Starrett. 



INTRODUCTION 

This report presents a summary of data collected in 1996 during segment 8 of 
federal aid project F-101-R, The Long-term Illinois River Fish Population Monitoring 
Program, Previous summaries of the long-term data set, begun in 1957, were given 
by Sparks and Starrett (1975), Sparks (1977), Sparks and Lerczak (1993), Lerczak 
and Sparks (1994), and Lerczak et ah (1994). The annual reports for project 
F-101-R will continue to build on previously collected data with major analyses of the 
long-term data set scheduled for the five-year project report at the end of segment 
10. The format used in this report is patterned after previous annual reports of this 
project (Lerczak et al 1 993, 1 994, 1 995, and 1 996) to allow for easy comparisons of 
data among years Data analyses are more limited in scope for this report due to the 
departure of the project manager Tom Lerczak and the resulting increased workload 
associated with acquiring and training new staff. 

STUDY AREA AND METHODS 

Twenty-six fish sampling sites were at fixed locations along the Illinois 
WatenA/ay as defined by Sparks and Starrett (1975 347) and Lerczak et al (1994:9) 
(Table 1 ) Twenty-four of the sites were along the Illinois River, with two additional 
sites on the lower Des Plaines River, which along with the Illinois River is part of the 
Illinois WatenA'ay. One additional site was on the Mississippi River (Figure 1). 
Seventeen of the sites were in side channels, the rest of the sites were in other 
habitats, including the mam channel border, or in a combination of habitat types (see 





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Following water quality measurements (e.g., dissolved oxygen) at each site, 
fish populations were sampled by electrofishing from a 16-ft (5-m) aluminum boat 
using a 3000-watt, three-phase AC generator. Sampling at each site typically lasted 
one hour. Stunned fish were gathered with a dip net (1/4-in [0.64-cm] mesh) and 
stored in an oxygenated livewell until sampling was completed Fish were then 
identified to species, measured, inspected for externally visible abnormalities, and 
returned to the water. More details on the electrofishing method and equipment are 
given by Lerczak et al. (1994). 

DATA ANALYSIS 

For each sample, numbers of individual fish and total weights (pounds) were 
tallied for each species. Fish catch rates v/ere calculated as the number of 
individuals collected per hour of electrofishing (CPUE,J and as weight in pounds 
collected per hour of electrofishing (CPUE^v). Catch data, both numbers of 
individuals and pounds collected per sample and hour, were summarized and 
reported by collection site. Data from sites also were grouped into reaches defined 
by navigation dams (Figure 1) as follows: Alton Reach, river mile (RM) 0-80; La 
Grange Reach, RM 80-158; Peoria Reach, RM 158-231, Starved Rock Reach, RM 
231-247; Marseilles Reach, RM 247-271.5; and Dresden Reach, RM 271.5-286 on 
the Des Plaines River. Data from reaches were combined further into three groups 
(lower and middle Illinois River segments, and the upper Illinois Waterv/ay segment) 
defined by their location along the river and by the amount of off-channel habitat 



accessible to fish per unit length of hver (Lerczak et al. 1994:5 and Figure 1). 
Lerczak et al. (1994, 1995, and 1996) showed that river fish communities of the 
three segments differed substantially enough to give segment designations 
biological meaning. 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION (Job 4) 

Before the fish sampling season began, all equipment was tested and 
repaired as necessary. Due to the impending departure of project manager Lerczak. 
training for new staff was more intensive than that needed in recent years; new staff 
were trained in electrofishing methods and safety procedures (Job 1). 

All 27 sites were sampled between 26 August and 19 September 1996 (Job 
2); total sampling time was 24.75 h (Table 1 ). Collected data were entered into a 
computerized data base (R-Base software), rectified with original field data sheets, 
and entry errors were corrected as necessary (Job 3). The original data sheets 
were stored in a flame-resistant vault at Forbes Biological Station, Havana (Job 3). 

A. CONDITIONS DURING ELECTROFISHING RUNS 

Sampling was conducted in full daylight between 7:40 AM and 7:25 PM (Table 
1) The ranges for physical measurements collected during the 1996 sampling 
season were as follows: air temperature, 59.9-83.3 ^'F; v/ater temperature, 66.6-85.7 
°F; dissolved oxygen concentration, 3.6-13.9 ppm, Secchi disk transparency, 6.7- 
28.7 in; conductivity, 380-760 umhos/cm, surface velocity, 0.0-1 .5 ft/s; water depth, 
0.1-5.0 ft. All values were within the ranges expected based upon previous sampling 



(see Lerczak et al. 1994:17-24, Lerczak et al. 1995:7, and Lerczak et al. 1996:2) All 
sites were sampled with water temperatures and river levels (Table 1 ) within our 
established criteria (see Lerczak et al. 1994:10-13). 

B. ELECTROFISHING RESULTS 

The following data summaries proceed through several levels of detail First, 
data on the numbers of individual fish (by species) collected at each of the 27 sites 
are presented. Then, catch rates of the number of individuals collected per hour of 
electrofishing are calculated for each of the seven navigation reaches. Similar 
summaries are presented for fish weights. Results conclude with fish health as 
determined by external visual inspection. Common names used throughout this 
report follow Robins et al. (1991). Common and scientific names are listed in 
APPENDIX A 

Numbers of Fish Collected 

In 1996 we collected a total of 5,062 fish representing 41 species (plus tv/o 
hybrids) from 1 1 families during 24.75 h of sampling at 26 sites on the Illinois 
Waterway and a single site on the Mississippi River. Gizzard shad was the most 
abundantly collected species, representing 48.4% of the total catch, followed by 
white bass (8.9%), bluegill (8.1%), freshwater drum (6.4%), common carp (6.4%), 
and emerald shiner (3.3%). Gizzard shad v;ere collected at all 27 sites, and bluegill 
were taken at 25 sites The sample from Pekin (RM 154.9, La Grange Reach) 
yielded the most fish (524, 1 0.4% of the total collected from all 27 sites). The most 



species collected at a single site was 20 from Detweiller Marina (RM 170.7) in 
Peoria Reach. The fewest species collected at a single site was eight from Bulls 
Island (RM 240.7) in Starved Rock Reach. Of the 41 species and 2 hybrid crosses^ 
10 species and one hybrid cross were collected at only a single site, and five 
species were collected at only two sites. Seven species and one hybrid cross were 
represented by single individuals, and only two individuals were collected for each of 
seven species. 

From 26 sites on the Illinois Waten,vay, v^'e collected 5,009 fish representing 
41 species (plus two hybrids) from 1 1 families during 23.75 h of sampling At 
Brickhouse Slough on the Mississippi River (RM 204.9), we collected 53 fish 
representing 12 species from seven families (Table 2) This year's sample from 
Brickhouse Slough provided fewer fish and relatively low diversity compared with 
other samples collected at this site since 1991 (see Lerczak et al. 1994:49, 1995:9, 
1996:8). 

On the lower Illinois River, v/e collected 578 fish representing 23 species 
(Table 2). The total abundance and species richness were slightly lower than 
observed in 1995, when 751 fish representing 25 species v^ere collected (Lerczak et 
al. 1996:8) In 1996, species richness ranged from 14 at Mortland Island (RM 18.8). 
Dark Chute (RM 25.0), and Hurricane Island (RM 27.5) to 15 at Crater-Willow 
Islands (RM 30.0) and Big Blue Island (RM 58.5). The species richness at Dark 
Chute was greater than observed in recent years; only 1 1 species were collected in 
1 994. and 1 3 were collected in 1 995 However, in 1 996 fewer species were 



Table 2 Number of individuals of each fsh species collected on the Mississippi River (Brickhouse Sloug 
and the lower Illinois River (Alton Reach. RM 0-80) in 1996, 









River Mile a 


ind Hours Fished 








Miss River 




Lc 


ver Illinois Ri 


ve: 








205 1 


188 


25 


275 


30 


58 5 


Total 


Species 


1 CO 


1 00 


1 00 


1 00 


1 CO 


1 CO 


500 


Clupeidae 
















gizzard shad 


2 


6 


33 


60 


2^ 


5 


129 


skipjacl< herring 











1 





1 




threadfin shad 





23 


7 





2 


8 


40 


Cyprinidae 
















common carp 


9 


6 


5 


2 


8 


15 


36 


emerald shiner 


1 


4 





2 


3 







grass carp 

















1 




red shiner 














1 


2 




Catostomidae 
















bigmouth buffalo 





3 





2 


5 


3 


13 


river carpsucker 


7 





1 













shorthead redhorse 








1 


1 









smallmouth buffalo 


6 


S 


3 


1 


7 


3 


23 


Ictaluridae 
















channel catfish 


2 


15 


15 


23 


24 


20 


97 


flathead catfish 














4 







Atherinidae 
















brook silverside 





1 
















Percichthyidae 
















v/hite bass 


5 


5 


28 


13 


6 


7 


63 


Centrarchidae 
















black crappie 





1 


3 


1 


6 


2 


13 


bluegill 


6 


10 


22 


20 


10 


15 


77 


green sunfish 


1 





1 













largemouth bass 


1 


3 


5 


7 


8 


6 


29 


orangespotted sunfish 


1 





2 













white crappie 











2 


1 







Percidae 
















sauger 





1 
















Sciaenidae 
















freshwater drum 


12 


2 


6 


5 


5 


4 


22 


Total individuals 


53 


SO 


132 


145 


117 


93 


573 


Total species/hybrids 


12/0 


1 4/0 


14'0 


14/0 


1 5/0 


15/0 


23/0 



collected at Crater-Willow Islands and Big Blue Island than in 1995, when 16 and 19 
species were found, respectively. 

On the middle Illinois River, we collected 3,731 fish representing 38 species 
plus one hybrid (one bluegill x green sunfish) (Tables 3 and 4) From six sites on La 
Grange Reach (RM 80-158), 1732 fish representing 28 species were collected 
From eight sites on Peoria Reach (RM 1 58-231 ), 1 999 fish representing 34 species 
and the bluegill x green sunfish hybrid were collected. Species richness ranged 
from 9 at Hennepin Island (RM 207.9) to 20 at Lambie's Boat Harbor (RM 170 7); 
habitat diversity was low at Hennepin Island and sampling time was only 0.5 h. In 
1995, 15 species were collected at Hennepin Island during 0.5 h (Lerczak et al 
1996:10). A substantial reduction in species richness was also observed at Clark 
Island (RM 215.3); 14 species were collected in 1996, whereas 21 and 19 species 
were collected in 1994 and 1995, respectively. However, even though species 
richness was lower at Clark Island in 1 996, the total abundance of fishes collected 
was higher than in recent years In 1996, 347 individuals v/ere collected compared 
to 325 in 1995 and 165 in 1994. A species never before collected during Long-term 
Illinois River Fish Population Monitoring, the mud darter, v/as taken at Henry Island 
(RM 193.9) of Peoria Reach. 

. On the upper waterway in 1996 we collected 700 fish representing 23 species 
plus one hybrid (three carp x goldfish) (Table 5). This is substantially fewer fish 
than collected in 1995, when 3,827 individuals representing 34 species and two 
hybrids were collected (Lerczak et al. 1996:1 1). Large declines in cypnnids were 



Table 3 Number of individua:s cf each f ;h species collected on La Grange Reach (RM 80-1 58) of the middl; 
Illinois River (RM 80-231) in 1993 









Rive 


r M.le and H: 


:L:rs Fished 




















La 


Grange 
Reach 


Middle 
River 




85 4 


94 8 


1C7.1 


113 


143 2 


154 9 


Total 


Total 


Species 


1 00 


1 00 


1 00 


1 GO 


50 


1 00 


5 50 


12 50 


Lepisosteidse 


















shortnoss gar 

















1 


1 


1 


Clupeidae 


















gizzard shad 


40 


49 


93 


173 


76 


257 


693 


1899 


skipjack herring 


1 














4 


5 


12 


threadfin shad 











2 





13 


15 


44 


Cyprinidae 


















bullhead minnow 





1 














1 


1 


common carp 


23 


110 


25 


23 


7 


6 


200 


252 


emerald shiner 


32 


7 


4 


1 








44 


1 14 


golden shiner 








1 











1 


6 


goldfish 














1 


1 


2 


6 


red shiner 


9 








2 








11 


12 


Catostomidae 


















bigmouth buffalo 


3 





6 


13 


1 


3 


29 


55 


river carpsucker 











1 


1 


1 


3 


13 


shorthead redhorse 




1 


1 








1 


4 


10 


smallmouth buffalo 


4 


8 


3 


3 


3 


11 


32 


87 


Ictaluridae 


















black bullhead 

















1 


1 


2 


channel catfish 


4 


4 


10 


1 


4 


3 


25 


35 


flathead catfish 


1 








1 








2 


3 


Cyprinodontidae 


















blackstripe topminnov/ 


1 





1 





C 





2 


2 


Atherinidae 


















brook silverside 


3 


2 


1 











6 


6 


Percichthyidae 


















v/hite bass 


IS 


29 


43 


45 


4E 


125 


309 


377 


Centrarchidae 


















black crappie 


10 


1 


15 




c 





34 


67 


bluegill 


30 


8 


23 


30 


c 


1 


92 


282 


g-een sunfish 


1 
















2 


25 


largemouth bass 


2 


c 


5 




- 





16 


75 


v/armouth 


3 





1 










5 


6 


v/hite crappie 



















3 


7 


Percidae 


















sauger 








3 





3 


5 


11 


15 


Sciasnidae 


















freshv/ater drum 


13 


12 


31 


34 


2 


90 


182 


252 


Total individuals 


195 


23: 


273 


35 1 


147 


524 


1732 


3731 


Tots' species/hybrids 


1 9/0 


13;; 


17/: 


1£.'0 




15 


23 '0 


3 5/1 



10 



Number of individjais cf each fish species collected on Peona Reac 



emerald shmer 
fathead minnow 
golden shiner 
goldfish 
red shmer 
Silverband shiner 
spottail shiner 

Catostomidae 
bigmouth buffalo 
golden redhorse 
fiver carpsucker 
shorthead redhorse 
smallmouth buffalo 

ictaluridae 
black bullhead 



cha 



^sh 



flathead catfish 

yellow bullhead 
Percichthyidae 

white bass 
Centrarchidae 

black crappie 

bluegill 

bluegillx greens 

green sunf.sh 

largemoulh bass 

orangespotted sunfish 

smallmouth bass 



fish 



Reach P.ive 

Total Tot3 



Species 





75 


1 CO 


I CO 


1 CO 


C 




1 CO 


50 1 


7 CO 


12 50 


Clupeidae 
























gizzard shad 




S7 


1C3 


7 = 


-14 




J3 


52 


202 2- 


r 1 205 


1599 


skipjack hernn; 

















1 


1 


C 


3 7 


12 


threadrin shad 










■i 


6 




3 


1 J 


2 


- 23 


44 


Cyprindae 




























13 


3 


10 


■i 










1 


7 52 


252 



v/hite crappi; 
Percidae 

logperch 

mud darter 

sauger 

waLeyc 
Sciaenidae 

freshwater di 
Total Individua 
Total species.'f 



Table 5 Number of individuals of each fish species couected in St3.-.ed Rock, Ma-se.iles, and Dresden Reaches of the 
upper Illinois Waterway (RM 231-280) in 1996 









R,\ 


:er W.le anc 


1 Hoj:s Fished 
























Upper 


















VVaten.vay 




Sta-vsd R 


ock 


M; 


>rsei!les 




Dresden 




Total 




240 7 


241 4 


243 


249 8 


250 7 


277.3 


279 9 




Species 


1 00 


1 00 


75 


50 


1 CO 


1 00 


1 CO 


6 25 


Ciupeidae 


















gizzard shad 


124 


94 


93 


8 


17 


72 


7 


420 


threadfin shad 








1 








4 





5 


Cyprinidae 


















bluntnose minnov/ 




















2 


2 - 


carp X goldfish 








1 








1 


1 


3 — Cxac 


common carp 


5 


1 


4 


4 


2 


2 


10 


23_t.a*p 


emerald shiner 


8 


15 





1 


2 


15 


1 


43 '. 


golden shiner 




















1 


1 - 


goldfish 

















1 


1 


2-^ 


red shiner 


8 


12 





2 


1 








23 ■ ^ 


spottail shiner 





6 


6 


2 


3 


7 


9 


33 — 


Catostomidae 


















bigmouth buffalo 








1 


1 


1 


1 





4 


river carpsucker 





1 





2 











3 


shorthead redhorse 








1 











1 


2 


smallmouth buffalo 


8 


6 





e 


2 


1 





25 


Ictaluridae 


















channel catfish 





1 


1 


1 


C 





1 


4 — 


yellov/ bullhead 

















1 





1 


Centrarchidae 


















bluegill 


1 


1 


4 


5 


3 


24 


5 


43- 


green sunfish 

















3 


8 


11 


largemouth bass 


1 


3 


7 


1 


1 


9 


3 


25- 


orangespotted sunfish 


1 





2 





2 


3 


4 


12 — 


rock bass 











1 





3 





4- 


smallmouth bass 





1 








c 








1- 


v/hite crappie 








1 





c 








1-. 


Sciaenidae 


















freshv/ater drum 








1 


1 


1 





1 


4 


Total individuals 


i55 




125 


37 




143 


55 


700 


Total species/hybrids 


e;o 


1 1 /o 


12/i 


13.0 


1-;: 


14,". 


14;"i 


23/1 



7^ - v% 



noo 



/7 









,. '^/noo-o.5% 



12 



most notable. In 1996, only 2 bluntnose minnow, 43 emerald shiner, and 23 red 
shiner were collected compared to 407 bluntnose minnow, 1076 emerald shiner, and 
161 red shiner in 1995. Also, no bullhead minnow were collected in 1996 whereas 
616 were collected on the upper waterway in 1995. Other relatively large declines in 
abundance were gizzard shad and bluegill; 420 gizzard shad were collected in 1996 
compared to 1369 in 1995, and 43 bluegill were collected in 1996 compared to 500 
in 1 995 Abundances of fishes at sites in 1 996 were more similar to those observed 
in 1 994 in the upper watervv'ay, although overall species richness in 1 996 (23) was 
much lower than in 1994 (31). Species richness in 1996 ranged from 8 at Bull's 
Island (RM 240.7) to 14 at the mouth of the Du Page River (RM 277.3) and Treats 
Island (RM 279.9). The species richness of upper waterway sites were more similar 
to sites on the lower Illinois River (Table 2), although species composition at lower 
river sites was somewhat different than that of the upper waterway. 
Catch Rates in Number of Individuals Collected per Hour by Reach . 

In the following data summary, discussion is restricted either to species that 
each separately accounted for over 1 0% of the total catch or to species that were of 
special significance. At all reaches in 1996, the gizzard shad ranked first by relative 
abundance in number offish collected per hour. 

Alton (lower river). The 95% lists (species were added to the list until 95% 
of the total catch rate in numbers was obtained) for Alton, La Grange, and Peoria 
Reaches were similar, although CPUEfj varied among reaches. Eleven species 
accounted for 94.5% of the total catch in Alton Reach (Tables 6 and 7). Overall, 



13 



Table 6, Number of individuals of each fish species collected per hour of electrofishing (CPUw.,) at Reach 25 of the Mississippi 
River (Brickhouse Slough) and a! six reaches of the Illinois Rr/er Waterway in 1 995- 



^5,60 


125 00 


150 75 


C40 


091 


CSS 


SCO 


2 73 


3 53 



Reach and Hours Fished 

Star.ed Overall 

Reach 25 A'.'.jn La Grange Peoria Reck Marse:::es Dresden CPUE.. 

Spec.es 100 5 CC 5 5J 7 CO 2 CO 2 25 2 CO 2-175 

Lepisosleidae 

shortnose gar C 15 04 

Clupeidae 

gizzard shad 2 OC 

skipjack herring 

threadfin shad 
Cyprinidae 

bluntnose minnov/ 

bullhead minnow 

carp X goldfish 

common carp 9 00 7 20 

emerald shiner 1 00 1 60 

fathead minnow 

golden shiner 

goldfish 

grass carp 0-20 

red shiner 60 

silverband shiner 

spottaii shiner 
Catostomidae 

bigmouth buffalo 2 60 

golden redhorse 

river carpsucker 7 00 20 

smallmouth buffalo 6.00 4.60 

shorthead redhorse 50 

Ictaluridae 

black bullhead 16 13 

channel catfish 2 00 19 40 4 73 1.13 

flathead catfish G £0 35 13 

yellov/ bullhead 13 

Cyprinodontidae 

blackstripe topminnov/ 35 

Atherinidae 

brook silverside 20 1 .09 

Percichthyidae 

white bass 5 00 13 50 55 1 3 6 50 

Centrarchidae 

black crappie 2 50 5 18 4 13 

bluegill 6 00 

bluegill X green sunfish 

green sunfish 1.00 

largemouth bass 1 03 

orangespo'ted sunfish 1 00 

rock bass 

smallmouth bass 

warmouth 

white crappie 
Percidae 

logperch 

mud darter 

sauger 



35 35 


5 50 


3 00 


8 00 


13 


11.50 


le 


53 




35 


50 




2 00 


13 
013 


10 00 




1 25 


3 00 


527 


3 33 
C25 




55 


1 25 


50 


5S2 


6 83 


7 00 


73 


75 





33 03 


39.50 


93.99 
057 


051 


2 CO 


3 60 




1 CO 


03 
0.04 


51 


l.OO 


0.12 


5 13 


6 CO 


1313 


1 54 


8 50 


6 75 
04 




50 


23 




1 00 


0.32 
0.04 


1 54 




1.54 
0.04 


5 54 


SCO 


1 74 


1 54 


50 


2.95 
0.08 


1 03 




097 


5 13 


0,50 


5.70 


51 


50 


0,61 
0.08 


1 03 


50 


5.53 
0.23 




50 


0.03 
0,06 
0.23 



15 73 


23 75 




13 


35 


2 53 


2 91 


7 33 




75 




C 13 


091 




55 


50 




013 




013 


2 00 


53 





323 


450 


15.43 




04 


5 5j 


154 


6 00 


5.25 


3 50 


85 


1 50 


015 




03 




0.24 




0.44 




0.04 




0.04 




0.69 




0.03 



Sciaenidae 


















freshwater drum 


12 00 


4 4j 


33 C9 


13 25 




1 54 


50 


1317 


Total number per hour 


53 00 


1 1 5 5C 


31491 


249 00 


14: 53 


102 55 


101 50 


204 52 


Number of species'hvbnds 


120 


23 


25 3 


34 I 


12'0 


17'1 


19 1 


41/2 



14 



Table 7. Species ranked by relative abundance in number of fish collected per hour for 1996, 
Species were added to the list in descending order of abundance until 95% of the total catch 
for that reach v/as obtained. Percentages are in parentheses. 









Rankings 


by Reach 














Starved 






Species 


Alton 


La Grange 


■ Peoria 


Rock 


Marseilles 


i Dresden 


Clupeidae 














gizzard shad 


1 (22 3) 


1 (40. Oj 


1 (60.3) 


1 (73.4) 


1 (61.5) 


1 (38.9) 


threadfin shad 


5 (6,9) 




10(1.5) 






8 (2.0) 


Cyprinidae 














common carp 


6(6.2) 


3(11.5) 


8(2 6) 


5 (2.0) 


4(5 0) 


5(5.9) 


emerald shiner 




6(2 5) 


4(3 5) 


2(7.7) 


7 (1 5) 


3(8 4) 


red shiner 








3 (6.7) 


7(1.5) 




spottail shiner 








5(2 0) 


3(5.5) 


4 (7 9) 


Catostomidae 














bigmouth buffalo 


10(2 2) 


8 (1.7) 


11 (1 4) 




7(1.5) 




smallmouth buffalo 


8 (4 0) 


7(1.8) 


7(2 8) 


4(4.7) 


4 (5.0) 




Ictaluridae 














channel catfish 


2 (15.8) 


9(1.5) 










Percichthyidae 














white bass 


4 (11. S) 


2 (17.8) 


5(3.4) 








Centrarchidae 














black crappie 


10(2 2) 


8 (2.0J 


9(1.7) 








bluegill 


3(13.3) 


5(5.3) 


2(9.5) 




2 (6.0) 


2(14.3) 


green sunfish 












6(5.4) 


largemouth bass 


7(5.0) 




6(3.0) 




5(4 5) 


5(5.9) 


orangespotted sunfish 










6 (2.0) 


7(3 4) 


rock bass 












9(1.5) 


Sciaenidae 














freshwater drum 


9 (3.8) 


4 (10.5) 


3(5 3) 




7(1.5) 




Number of fishes 














accountina for QSVc 


11 


10 


11 


6 


11 


10 



15 



CPUEn was 1 15.60 in 1996. This is similar to catches observed in other years since 
project F-101-R began in 1989; a low CPUEn of 75.05 occurred in 1992 and a high 
of 150.02 occurred in 1995 (Lerczak et al. 1994, 1995, and 1996). In 1996, the 
highest CPUE,.j for all species was 25.80 for gizzard shad, which made up 22.3% of 
the total fish collected in this reach. Channel catfish ranked second with a CPUEf^ of 
19.40 (16.8% of the total), the highest catch rate of this species since 1989. The 
CPUENOf bluegill was 15.40 (13.3% of the total) and of white bass was 13.60 
(11.8% of the total) From 1991-1995 the bluegill was the highest ranked species on 
this reach of the river. In 1 990, as in 1 996, the gizzard shad was the highest ranked 
species. In 1989, the freshwater drum was the highest ranked species; in 1996 this 
species was ranked ninth and made up only 3.8% of the total fish collected in Alton 
Reach. 

La Grange (middle river). Ten species accounted for 94.6% of the total 
catch in La Grange Reach (Tables 6 and 7) Overall, CPUE.^was 314.91 in 1996, 
which was the highest observed in this reach since 1 989 (Lerczak et al. 1 994, 1 995, 
and 1996). In 1996, the highest CPUE^jforall species was 126.00 for gizzard shad, 
which made up 40.0% of the total fish collected in this reach. The catch rate of 
gizzard shad greatly exceeded other catches on this reach since 1989; the previous 
high occurred in 1995 when CPUEfj was 88.73 Low CPUE,j of gizzard shad in La 
Grange Reach during the first 8 segments of project F-1 01 -R was 5.80 in 1 992 
White bass ranked second with a CPUEfj of 56.18 (17.8 % of the total). The catch 
rate of white bass in La Grange Reach has increased each year since 1 992 when 



16 



CPUEfj was only 1 .80 Common carp ranked third with a CPUEf, of 36.36 (1 1.5% of 
the total). Carp have ranked 1-3 in La Grange Reach during every segment of 
project F-101-R except 1991. 

Peoria (middle river). Eleven species accounted for 95.0% of the total catch 
in Peoria Reach (Tables 6 and 7). Overall, CPUE.j was 249.88 in 1996. This catch 
rate is the second highest observed at this reach since 1 989 (CPUE^j was 291 .00 in 
1995) (Lerczak et al, 1994, 1995, and 1996). In 1995, the highest CPUE^j for all 
species was 1 50.75 for gizzard shad, which made up 60.3% of the total fish 
collected in this reach. The gizzard shad catch rate of Peoria Reach was higher 
than that of all other reaches and was also relatively high in 1995 (CPUEfj was 
125.86). Bluegill ranked second with a CPUE,.j of 23.75 (9.5% of the total), and all 
other species made up only 6% or less of the total catch in Peoria Reach. The 
bluegill catch rate was slightly lower than in other recent years. (CPUEfj has been 
31.94 or greater since 1992). 

Starved Rock (upper river). Six species accounted for 96.5% of the total 
catch in Starved Rock Reach (Tables 6 and 7). Overall, CPUE^j was 148.50 in 1996. 
This catch rate is much lower than the overall CPUEfj of 867.50 observed in 1995, 
but is higher than all other years of project F-1 01 -R for StaPv'ed Rock Reach 
(Lerczak et al, 1994, 1995, and 1996) High CPUEfj in 1995 was primarily due to 
gizzard shad and an abundance of emerald shiner and several other cyprinids. In 
1996, the highest CPUE,, for all species was 109,00 for gizzard shad, which made 
up 73.4% of the total fish collected in this reach. Emerald shiner ranked second by 



17 



relative abundance (7.7%) but CPUEn was only 11 .50 in 1 996, compared to 438.50 
in 1 995. As during all other segments of project F-1 01 -R, common carp CPUEn was 
low in 1996 (3.00); the highest catch rate of carp since 1989 in Starved Rock Reach 
was only 9.00 per hour (in 1993). Unlike other recent years, bullhead minnows were 
not collected in any upper river reach in 1996. Bluntnose minnows were not 
collected in either Starved Rock or Marseilles reaches. 

The overall species composition of the upper watenz/ay was different than the 
lower and middle river in that no channel catfish, white bass, or black crappies were 
collected in the upper watenA'ay, but each made the 95% list for the lower and middle 
river (Table 7). Bluntnose minnow, goldfish, red shiner, spottail shiner, green 
sunfish, orangespotted sunfish, and rock bass made the 95%o list for the upper 
waterway but did not occur in reaches of the lower and middle river. 

Marseilles (upper river). Eleven species accounted for 95.5% of the total 
catch in Marseilles Reach (Tables 6 and 7), Overall, CPUEfj was 102.56 in 1996, 
This catch rate is much lower than the overall CPUE,, of 356.80 obsen/ed in 1995, 
but is similar to other years of project F-1 01 -R for Marseilles Reach (Lerczak et al. 
1994, 1995, and 1996). High CPUEfj in 1995 was primarily due to gizzard shad and 
an abundance of small cyprinids and bluegill In 1996, the highest CPUEf^ for all 
species was 63.08 for gizzard shad, which made up 61.5% of the total fish collected 
at this reach. This catch rate is the second highest observed at this reach since 
1989 (CPUEf.j was 90.00 in 1995) (Lerczak et al. 1994, 1995, and 1996). Bluegill 
ranked second by relative abundance (6.0%) but CPUE,j was only 6.15 in 1996, 



18 



compared to 42.40 in 1995. The iargemouth bass catch rate on this reach was 4.62 
and was comparable to other reaches sampled in 1996 (high Iargemouth bass 
CPUEfj was 7.38 in Peoria Reach). 

Dresden (Des Plaines River). Ten species accounted for 93.6% of the total 
catch in Dresden Reach (Tables 6 and 7). Overall, CPUEf, was 101.50 in 1996. 
This catch rate is much lower than the overall CPUEfj of 600.00 observed in 1 995, 
and IS the lowest for Marseilles Reach since 1992 (Lerczak et al 1994, 1995, and 
1996) High CPUEfj in 1995 was primarily due to an abundance of bluntnose and 
bullhead minnows and bluegill; CPUEfj of bluntnose minnow was only 1.00 in 1996, 
and no bullhead minnow were collected. The highest CPUEfj for all species was 
39.50 for gizzard shad, which made up 38.9% of the total fish collected at this reach. 
Gizzard shad CPUE;.j was similar to other segments of project F-1 01 -R. Highest 
gizzard shad CPUEfj for Dresden Reach was 50.50 in 1995. Bluegill ranked second 
with a CPUEf. of 14.50 (14.3% of the total), and all other species made up only 8.4% 
or less of the total catch at Dresden Reach The bluegill catch rate v/as much lower 
than observed in 1995 (83.00), but was comparable to other recent years. The catch 
rate of common carp of 6.00 per hour in Dresden Reach was similar to all other 
waterv/ay reaches (CPUEfj ranges 3.00 at Starved Rock to 7.20 at Alton, except for 
La Grange Reach, where CPUE,j of common carp was 36.36) 
Catch Rates in Weight (pounds) Collected per Hour by Reach . 
In the following data summary, discussion is restricted to species that each 
separately accounted for over 10% of the total catch and to species that were of 



19 



special significance. A 95% list was produced for each reach, in which species were 
ranked by relative abundance (pounds per hour) and added to the list until 95% of 
the total catch rate for that reach was obtained. Overall, these data indicate that fish 
communities of the Illinois River in terms of weight continue to be dominated by 
common carp, bigmouth buffalo, and channel catfish in the lower and middle river, 
and common carp, smallmouth buffalo, gizzard shad, and largemouth bass in the 
upper waterway. 

Alton (lower river). Nine species accounted for 95.2% of the total catch by 
weight in pounds per hour (CPUE^,J in Alton Reach (Tables 8 and 9). Channel 
catfish CPUEwWas highest at 19.06 (32.5% of the total), which is the highest CPUEw 
for this species observed in Alton Reach since the beginning of project F-101-R; low 
CPUE^v^or channel catfish was 4.45 in 1989 (Lerczak et al. 1994, 1995, and 1996). 
Common carp ranked second with a CPUEv., of 1 5.71 (26.7% of the total) which is 
much higher than occurred in 1 995, when common carp CPUE^.,- was 6.63. Bigmouth 
buffalo ranked third with a CPUE^of 6.61 (1 1.3% of the total). Bigmouth buffalo 
CPUE^,; was much lower than in 1995, when the species ranked first with a CPUE^^ 
of 18 27, but is similar to catches of other segments of project F-101-R. Largemouth 
bass CPUEy^ was 5.75 (9.8% of the total) All other species accounted for less than 
ten percent of the total catch by weight. 

La Grange (middle river). Six species accounted for 94.2% of the total catch 
by weight in La Grange Reach (Tables 8 and 9). This is notably fewer species than 



20 



Table 8 Pounds of each fish species collected per hour of electrcrish.ng (CPUE,-.) a: Rea:h 25 cf !."e f.':ss>ss:ppi Rive 
(Brickhouse Slough) and at six reaches of the Illinois Rr.er Wa'er.va, m 1995 Founds pe- hour less than 01 are 

indicated by 00 ____^ 

Reach and Hours Fished ~ 

0. 

f.la-se.lles Dresden CF 



Reach and Hours Fishe 






Sta-.ed 


:h25 


Alton 


La Gra-.ge Pe^na Rock 


1 GO 


5 00 


5 50 7 00 2 00 



5-4 


2 45 


3 77 


09 


017 


05 


02 


0C-! 


03 



Species 
Lepisosteidae 

shortnose gar 
Clupeidae 

gizzard shad 

skipjack herring 

threadfin shad 
Cyprinidae 

bluntnose minnow 

bullhead minnow 

carp X goldfish 

common carp 

emerald shiner 

fathead minnow 

golden shiner 

goldfish 

grass carp 

red shiner 

silverband shiner 

spottai! shiner 
Catostomidae 

bigmouth buffalo 

golden redhorse 

river carpsucker 

shorthead redhorse 

smallmouth buffalo 
Ictaluridae 

black bullhead 

channel catfish 

flathead catfish 

yellow bullhead 
Cyprinodontidae 

blackstripe topminnow CO 0.00 

Atherinidae 

brook silvsrside 00 00 

Percichth/idae 

white bass 0-4 2 C9 2 94 3 a= 2 IS 

Centrarchidae 

black crappie 1,10 1 39 72 C 7-4 

bluegill 57 79 C 53 117 C5 C -4-4 95 C 77 

bluegill X green sunHsh 02 C 1 

green sunfish 01 01 43 32 15 

largemouth bass 114 5 75 192 3 75 1 01 2 97 2 11 3 22 

orangespotted sunfish COO 09 07 10 C 04 

rock bass 15 51 05 

sma'Imouth bass 03 53 05 

v/armoutn 09 02 0.02 

white crappie 03 01 15 25 03 

Percidae 

logperch 00 00 

mud darter CO O.CO 

sauger 01 14 03 04 

v/alleye 01 00 

Sciaenidae 



5 71 


71 15 


14 05 


4 93 


01 


03 


04 
00 


04 




001 


02 






02 


09 




1 30 










02 


00 
00 
001 




551 


15 £5 


11 29 
05 




0.09 


10 


1 25 


72 


65 


55 


25 




3 35 


2 21 


5 81 


8 97 




00 


03 




9 05 


5 32 


1.57 


54 


55 


14 


05 
GOO 





1 54 


2 73 


2 32 

07 




001 


02 




0.01 


COO 

coo 


70 


1 79 


021 


S 55 


14 74 


25 10 


00 


05 


03 
COO 




001 


01 




34 


05 
025 


01 




001 
00 


001 


02 


00 


2 52 


4S 


5 23 
02 


0C5 




0.55 


35 


17 


37 


4 19 


07 


05 
0.02 


1 25 


1.00 


5 83 
13 




14 


01 



freshwater drum 


24 


33 


2 52 


1 z' 


1 25 


85 


1 41 


To!3' pojids pe' hc-r 


3k; 


55 74 




5:45 19 


5^ 24 5 ■ 


25 3? 


5^3' 



21 



Table 9. Species ranked by relative abundance in pounds of fish collected per hour for 1996. 
Species were added to the list in descending order of abundance until 95°/'c! of the total catch 
for that reach v/as obtained. Percentages are in parentheses. 









Rankings 


by Reach 














Starved 






Species 


Alton 


La Granae 


Peoria 


Rock 


Marseilles 


Dresden 


Clupeidae 














gizzard shad 




6 (2.3) 


5(7.5) 


3(14.6) 


5(5.3) 


2 (10.4) 


Cyprinidae 














carpx goldfish 










7(2.8) 


4 (6.8) 


common carp 


2(25.7) 


1 (65.9) 


1 (27.9) 


2(25.1) 


1 (35.2) 


1 (55.9) 


grass carp 


7 (2.2) 












Catostomidae 














bigmouth buffalo 


3(11.3) 


2(14.7) 


2(22 4) 




4 (10 7) 


9(1.8) 


river carpsucker 






9 (2.5) 


5(3.7) 






smallmouth buffalo 


5(5.5) 




3(11.5) 


1 (45.6) 


2(17.0) 




Ictaluridae 














channel catfish 


1 (32.5) 


3(4.9) 


8(3.1) 




6(5.1) 


5 (3.8) 


Percichthyidae 














white bass 


6 (3.6) 


5 (2.7) 


4 (7.7) 








Centrarchidae 














black crappie 


8(1.9) 












bluegill 




4 (3.7) 


10(2.3) 






6 (3.7) 


largemouth bass 


4(9.8) 




6 (7.4) 


4(5,1) 


3(12.1) 


3 (8.0) 


rock bass 












8(1.9) 


Sciaenidae 














freshwater drum 


9(1.4) 




7(3.3) 




6 (5.1) 


7 (3.2) 


Number of fishes 














accountinq for 95% 


9 


6 


10 


5 


8 


9 



22 



in 1 995 when 1 species made the 95% list for weight. Common carp CPUE^ was 
highest at 71.15 (65.9% of the total). This is the highest CPUE^v observed in La 
Grange Reach for this species since the beginning of project F-101-R; low CPUE^. 
for common carp was 6.33 in 1991 (Lerczak et al. 1994, 1995, and 1996). Bigmouth 
buffalo ranked second with a CPUEwOf 15.86 (14.7% of the total), a rate similar to 
other segments of project F-101-R 

Peoria (middle river). Ten species accounted for 95 6% of the total catch by 
weight in Peoria Reach (Tables 8 and 9) Common carp CPUEw was highest at 
14.05 (27.9% of the total). This catch is similar to other segments of project F-101- 
R; high common carp CPUE^^ was 24.48 in 1 989 and low CPUE^ was 7.34 in 1 995 
(Lerczak et al. 1994, 1995, and 1996). Bigmouth buffalo ranked second with a 
CPUEw of 1 1 .29 (22.4% of the total) and smallmouth buffalo ranked third with a 
CPUE,^ of 5.81 (1 1.5% of the total) Bigmouth buffalo ranked first in catch by weight 
in 1 995 but CPUE,^, was lower (7.63, 1 9.32% of the total). Smallmouth buffalo catch 
in 1996 was similar to 1995, when CPUE^v was 4.37. 

Starved Rock (upper river). Five species accounted for 94. 1 % of the total 
catch by weight in Starved Rock Reach (Tables 8 and 9) Smallmouth buffalo 
CPUE^,, was highest at 8.97 (45.6% of the total); this is the only reach where this 
species ranked highest in 1996. These results were similar to other segments of 
project F-101-R. In 1995 smallmouth buffalo CPUE^., was 8.42, lowCPUE^.was 0.47 
in 1989 and high CPUE^.^was 12 11 in 1994 (Lerczak et al. 1994, 1995, and 1995). 



23 



Common carp ranked second with a CPUEw of 4.93 (25.1 % of the total) and gizzard 
shad ranked third with a CPUE;v of 2.88 (14.6% of the total). These species also 
ranked in the top three in catch by weight in 1995. Unlike in the lower and middle 
river, the bigmouth buffalo is not a dominant species in Starved Rock Reach. Also, 
unlike in 1995, small cyprinid species (emerald shiner) were not high enough in 
abundance to make the 95% list by weight. 

Marseilles (upper river). Seven species plus one hybrid (carp x goldfish) 
accounted for 94.3% of the total catch by weight in Marseilles Reach (Tables 8 and 
9). Common carp CPUEw was highest at 8.65 (35.2% of the total) which is much 
lower than observed for early segments of project F-101-R; common carp CPUEw 
was 15.31 in 1989 and 22.67 in 1990 (Lerczak et al. 1994, 1995, and 1996). 
Smallmouth buffalo ranked second with a CPUE^of 4.19 (17.0% of the total), 
largemouth bass ranked third with a CPUE^^ of 2.97 (12.1% of the total), and 
bigmouth buffalo ranked forth with a CPUEwOf2.62 (10.7% of the total). 

Dresden (Des Plaines River). Eight species plus one hybrid (carp x goldfish) 
accounted for 95.5% of the total catch by weight in Dresden Reach (Tables 8 and 9). 
Common carp CPUE^^ was highest at 14.74 (55.9% of the total) This is similar to 
other segments of project F-1 01 -R Low common carp CPUE^; v/as 9.81 in 1 992 and 
high CPUEwWas 20.97 in 1994 (Lerczak et al. 1994, 1995, and 1996). Gizzard 
shad ranked second with a CPUE^v o^ 2.73 (1 0.4% of the total) and largemouth bass 
ranked third at 2. 1 1 (8.0% of the total), Dresden Reach was the only one with rock 



24 



bass in its 95% list (CPUE^ was 0.51 , 1.9% of the total). 
Fish Health Determined by External Visual Inspection . 

Sediment-contact (benthic) fishes (e.g., common carp) had higher incidences of 
externally-visible abnormalities (eg , sores, eroded fins) than water-column fishes 
(eg., bluegill) (Figure 2). A total of 108 fishes collected in 1996 had abnormalities, of 
which 77 (71.3%)) were sediment-contact fishes. There was a longitudinal 
(upstream-downstream) gradient in the percentage of fishes with abnormalities, with 
highest incidence in the upper waterway, particularly in Dresden Reach. Of the 76 
benthic fishes collected in the upper wateiway, 26 of them (34.2%) had external 
abnormalities. In tne middle and lower wateoA'ay, only 5.9%o and 3.0% of benthic 
fishes showed abnormalities, respectively. This trend was documented during 
previous years also (Lerczak et al. 1994:68, 1995:39, 1996:29). Incidence of water- 
column fishes with abnormalities was only slightly higher (2.7%) in the upper 
v/aterv/ay than in the middle (0.3%) and lower (1.1%) waterway. _^_i;'w3 __ '"^f^ 

CONCLUSIONS ^;.^^.f rr _^f ^ ., ^^ 

>-'y^ U.L- ^'~ ^7% '■'^•'^ 

Samples collected by electrofishing on the Illinois River Waten<vay during 

August and September 1995 provided evidence that fish communities in the lower, 

middle, and upper waterway are substantially different in terms of species 

composition by number and by weight. Of 76 species and 3 hybrids collected 

previously during segments of project F-101-R, 41 species and 2 hybrids were 

collected in 1996. Th,e mud darter has not previously been collected during Long- 
C^ ^^'^-^<- Gaa^'A ^CuJV:^ ^^'^'^- 

r^ijudMjL 25 



to 

_o 

"to 
E 

o 

c 

< 



c 

CD 
O 

o 



40 



30 



20 



^ Sediment-contact Fishes 
n Water-column Fishes 




Lower Middle Upper 

Illinois River Water^vay 



Figure 2 Percent of sediment-conta:' and water-column fishes v/ith externally visibk 
abnormalities (eg , sores, eroded fins) collected from the Illinois River Waten.vay in 
1995. Data are grouped by river segment as in Figure 1, Numbers above each bar 
are the total fish collected in each category for the specified river segment. Habitat 
associations for species are defined in APPENDIX A 



26 



term Illinois River Fish Population Monitoring, and the silverband shiner has not 
been collected during earlier segments of project F-101-R. Overall, results from this 
year's sampling were similar to data collected in recent years. Numbers of 
individuals and pounds of each species collected have varied, however, both 
temporally (among years) and also spatially (among sites) along the watePA'ay. 

Although gizzard shad ranked first in number offish collected per hour in all 
reaches, numbers of other small forage species and also of large benthivores and 
piscivores varied among reaches. The relatively high numbers of gizzard shad in 
the watePA'ay, most of which were small enough to be vulnerable, should provide an 
excellent forage base for sport fishes such as largemouth and smallmouth bass. 
Largemouth bass were collected in all reaches, but catches in numbers were highest 
in Peoria, Dresden, and Alton Reaches. Smallmouth bass were collected (in low 
abundance) only in Peoria and Starved Rock Reaches. It is possible that 
smallmouth bass populations are under represented in our samples; this species is 
known to avoid habitats occupied by largemouth bass (Becker 1983) and may not 
occupy side-channels during late summer. An important sauger fishery exists below 
the Peoria Dam but Vv'e have collected only 18 sauger in the La Grange Reach 
during project F-101-R sampling (six sauger were collected in 1994, one in 1995, 
and 11 in 1996). 

The highest densities of sportfish species exist in the lower and middle 
watePA'ay. Three of the top four ranked species in Alton Reach are highly favored by 



27 



anglers (channel catfish, bluegill, and white bass) The catch of channel catfish was 
the highest observed since 1989. Although not as popular with anglers, the 
bigmouth buffalo is an important species in terms of CPUEw in the lower and middle 
waterway; smallmouth buffalo is important in terms of CPUE^ and CPUEn in the 
upper watePvvay. Common carp CPUEf^ was highest in La Grange Reach of the 
middle waterway, but continued to be low in the upper waterway; common carp 
CPUEyv was high in all reaches. 

We noticed a drastic decline in abundances of small cyprinid species such as 
emerald shiner, bullhead minnow, and bluntnose minnow in the upper waten<vay. 
Populations of these species in terms of abundance are known to vary each year. 
Only by continued monitoring will we be able to determine if our samples have 
represented a true decline in cyprinid abundance at the upper waterway sites. It is 
unlikely that piscivore abundance in the upper waterway is high enough to limit these 
cyprinid populations, especially with the co-occurring gizzard shad abundance. 
Most likely, the environmental conditions were not favorable during spawning or for 
overwintering of these species in 1 996 which reduced their overall abundance. 



28 



LITERATURE CITED 



Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. 
1052 pp. 

Lerczak, T.V., R.E. Sparks, and K.D. Blodgett. 1993. The long-term Illinois River 
fish population monitoring program (F-101-R). Annual Report to the Illinois 
Department of Conservation. Aquatic Ecology Technical Report 93/3. Illinois 
Natural History Survey, Champaign. 76 pp. 

Lerczak, T.V and RE Sparks 1994. Fish populations in the Illinois River. Pages 
239-241 in K.P. Pabich, editor. The changing Illinois environment: critical trends, 
volumes, ecological resources. ILENR/RE-EA-95/05. Illinois Department of Energy 
and Natural Resources, Springfield. 

Lerczak, T.V., R.E. Sparks, and K.D. Blodgett. 1994. The long-term Illinois River 
fish population monitoring program (F-101-R). Final Report to the Illinois 
Department of Conservation. Aquatic Ecology Technical Report 94/5. Illinois 
Natural History Survey, Champaign. 105 pp. 

Lerczak, T.V., R.E. Sparks, and K.D. Blodgett. 1995. The long-term Illinois River 
fish population monitoring program (F-101-R-6). Annual Report to the Illinois 
Department of Conservation. Aquatic Ecology Technical Report 95/4. Illinois 
Natural History Survey, Champaign. 50 pp. 

Lerczak, T.V., RE. Sparks, and K.D. Blodgett. 1996. The long-term Illinois River 
fish population monitoring program (F-101-R-7). Annual Report to the Illinois 
Department of Natural Resources. Aquatic Ecology Technical Report 96/2. Illinois 
Natural History Survey, Champaign. 38 pp. 

Pflieger, W.L. 1975, The fishes of Missouri Missouri Department of Conservation. 
343 pp. 

Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and 
W.B. Scott 1 991 . Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States 
and Canada Special Publication number 20. American Fisheries Society, 
Bethesda, MD. 

Sparks, R.E. 1977. Environmental inventory and assessment of navigation pools 
24, 25, and 26, Upper Mississippi and lower Illinois Rivers: an electrofishing survey 
of the Illinois River, Special Report No 5 Water Resources Center, University of 
Illinois, Urbana. 82 pp. 



29 



Sparks, R.E. and W.C. Starrett. 1975. An electrofishing survey of the Illinois River, 
1959-1974. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 31:317-380. 

Sparks, R.E. and T.V. Lerczak. 1993. Recent trends in the Illinois River indicated 
by fish populations. Aquatic Ecology Technical Report 93/16. Illinois Natural 
History Survey, Champaign. 34 pp. 



30 



APPENDIX A. Fish species collected during Long-term Resource Monitoring of the Illinois Waterway, 
1957-19V6. Common nanies marked by an asterisk indicate species that were collected from 1989 through 
1996 during federal aid project F-101-R. Common and scientific names are from Robins et al. (1991). 
Habitat associations are based on behavioral descriptions from Pflieger (1975) and communications uith 

I NHs fi?hgri? ? bi<?t93 ist?, . 



Fami ly Name 



Common Name 






(B = ber 



Habitat Association 
ic, blank = pelagic) 



Lepi sosteidae longnose gar* 
shortnose gar 
spotted gar* 



Lgp' S9Jtgv? pla':'??':9'pu? 



goldeye* 
mooneye* 



H'odon alosoides 
H i odon terqjsus 



Anqui Ua rostrata 



gi zzard shad* 
skipjack herring* 
threadfin shad* 

bigmouth shiner* 
bluntnose minnow* 
bul Ihead minnow* 
common carp* 
common carp x 

goldfish* 
central stoneroller* 
common shiner 
creek chub 
emerald shiner* 
fathead minnow* 
ghost shiner 
golden shiner* 
goldfish* 
grass carp* 
hornyhead chub 
Mississippi silvery 
pugnose mir>now 
red shiner* 
redfin shiner 
ribbon shiner 
river shiner* 
sar>d shiner* 
spot fin shiner 
si Iver chub* 
silverband shiner* 
si Iver jaw minnow 
spottail shiner* 
steelcolor shiner 
striped shiner 
suckermouth minnow* 

bigmouth buffalo* 
black buffalo* 
black redhorse 
golden redhorse* 
highfin carpsucker* 
northern hog sucker* 
qui 1 1 back* 
river carpsucker* 
river redhorse* 
shorthead redhorse* 
si Iver redhorse 
smal Imouth buffalo* 
whi te sucker* 



Dorosoma cepediani. 
Alosa chrvsochlori 



Dorosoma 


petenense 


Notropis 


dorsal- 


is 








Pimephales viqil 


,ax 









Carassius auratus 
Campostoma anomal un 
Luxi I us cornutus 
? efnotilu £ atrpmacMlatu? 
Notropis atherinoides 
Pimephales promelas 
Notropis buchanani 
Notemiqonus crvsoieucas 
Carassius auratus 
Ct^nophgrynqodpn idsiis 
Nocomis bjquttatus 
Hyboqnathus nuchal is 
Qpsopoeodus efli i I i a e 

C Ypr'P?U a iMtren?'? 
Lythruru? umbpatilis 

Lvthrurus fumeus 
Notropi s blennius 
Notropis stramineus 
Cypr inel la spi loptera 
MacrhyboDsis storeriana 
Not ropi s shumardi 
Notropi s buccatus 
Notropi 5 hudsonius 
Cyprinella whipplei 



Phenacobius mi rabi 1 1 s 

I ct iobus cypr inel I us 
Ictiobus niqer 
Hoxostoma duquesnei 
Hoxostoma erythrurijTi 
Carpiodes vet i f er 
Hypentel iun nigricans 
Carpiodes cyprinus 
Carpiodes carpio 
Hoxostoma carinatim 
Hoxostoma macrolesidotun 
Hoxostoma anisurim 
1 c t i obus bubal us 
Catostonius ti ^fnmer^oni 



31 



AppgrxijA A, CcnnnuM. 



Fami ly Name 



Common Name 



Scientific Name 



Habitat Association 
benthic, blank = pelagic) 



black billhead* 
blue catfish 
brown bul Ihead* 
channel catfish* 
flathead catfish* 
freckled madtom 
tadpole madtom 
white catfish 
yel low bul Ihead* 



Ameiurus melas 
Ictalurus furcatus 
Ameiurus nebulosus 
Ictalurus punctatus 
Pylodictis olivaris 
Noturus nocturnus 
Noturus qyrinus 
Ameiurus catus 
Ameiurus natal is 



Esocidae 



grass pickerel* 
northern pike 



Esox amencanus vermiculatus 



Salmonidae rainbow trout 

Percopsidae trout-f^erch 

Cyprinodontidae blackstripe topminnow* 

Poeciliidae western mosqui tof ish* 

Atherinidae brook silyerside* 



'ercichthyidae striped bass 

striped bass x 
white bass* 
white bass* 
white perch* 
yel low bass* 



Horone saxatilis 

M. Chrysops 
Horone chrysops 
Horone americana 
prone 



Centrarchidae 



black crappie* 
bluegi 1 1* 
green sunfish* 
green sunfish x 

bluegi 1 1* 
green sunfish x 

orangespotted sunfish 
green sunfish x 

punpkinseed 
largemouth bass* 
longear sunfish* 
orangespotted sunfish* 
orangespotted sunfish x 

bluegill 
pujrpkinseed* 
redear sunfish* 
rock bass* 
smal Imouth bass* 
spotted sunfish* 
warmouth* 
white crappie* 



Pomoxi s 
Lepomis m^crochi rus 
Lepomis cyanel lus 
Leoomis cyanel lus x 

L. [nacrgchjrgj 
Lepomis cyanel lu? x 

L. humi lis 
Leocmis cyanel lus x 

I. qibbo^ys 
HicroDterus salmoides 



Lepomis mega I Otis 
Lepomis huni I is 
Lepomis huni I is x 
I,, macroch i rus 
ibbos 
microloohus 
Amblopli tes rupestri 

Lepomis punctatus 
Lepomis qulosus 
Pomoxis annularis 



bluntnose darter 
johnny darter 
logperch* 
mud darter* 
sauger* 

slenderhead darte 
wal leye* 
yellow perch* 



Etheostoma chlorosomun 
Etheostoma nigriin 
Percina caprodes 
Etheostoma asprigene 
Stizostedion canadense 
Percina phoxocephala 

Perca f lavescens 



Sciaenidae 



;shwater drun* 



Aplodinotus grunniens 



32 



Appendix B (Job 5). Publications, reports, and presentations which resulted from 
research conducted during segments 6, 7, and 8 of project F-1 01 -R, the Long-term 
Illinois River Fish Population Monitoring Program (funded under Federal Aid in 
Sportfish Restoration Act, P.L. 81-681 , Dingell-Johnson, Wallop-Breaux). 

I. Publications 

Lerczak, T.V., RE. Sparks, and K.D. Blodgett, 1994. Some upstream-to- 
downstream differences in Illinois River fish communities. Transactions of the Illinois 
State Academy of Science 87(Supplement):53. (Abstract) 

Lerczak, T.V. 1995. Fish community changes in the Illinois River, 1962-1994. 
American Currents (Summer Issue). 

Lerczak, T.V. 1995. The gizzard shad in nature's economy. Illinois Audubon. 
(Summer Issue). Reprinted in Big River 2(12);1-3. 

Lerczak, T.V. and R.E. Sparks. 1995. Fish populations in the Illinois River. Pages 
7-9 in G.S. Farris, editor. Our living resources 1994. National Biological Survey, 
Washington, D.C 

Lerczak, T.V., R.E. Sparks, and K.D. Blodgett. 1995. Long-term trends (1959-1994) 
in fish populations of the Illinois River. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of 
Science 88(Supplement):74. (Abstract) 

Lerczak, T.V., R.E. Sparks, and K.D. Blodgett. 1995. Long-term trends (1959-1994) 
in fish populations of the Illinois River with emphasis on upstream-to-downstream 
trends. Proceedings of the Mississippi River Research Consortium 27:62-63. 

Lerczak, T.V. 1995. Illinois River fish communities: 1960s versus 1990s. Illinois 
Natural History Survey Report No. 339. 

Raibley, P.T., K.D. Blodgett, and R.E. Sparks. 1995. Evidence of grass carp 
{Ctenopharyngodon idella) reproduction in the Illinois and upper Mississippi Rivers. 
Journal of Freshwater Ecology 10:65-74. 

Sparks, R.E. 1995. Value and need for ecosystem management of large rivers and 
their floodplains. Bioscience 45:168-182. 

Sparks, R.E. 1995. Environmental effects. Pages 132-162 In S.A. Changnon, 
editor. The great flood of 1993. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research 
(UCAR) and Westview Press. 



33 



II. Technical Papers (presenter in bold) 

Lerczak, T.V., R.E. Sparks, and K.D. Blodgett. Some upstream-to-downstream 
differences in Illinois River fish communities. Contributed paper presented at the 
Illinois State Academy of Science Annual Meeting, Galesburg, Illinois, 7 October 
1994, 

Sparks, R.E. Large river-floodplain ecosystems of the midwest: status, trends, and 
management needs. Presented at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 
"Ecological Seminar Series" held in Chicago, Illinois, 14 March. 

III. Poster Presentations (presenter in bold) 

Lerczak, T.V., R.E. Sparks, and K.D. Blodgett. Long-term trends (1959-1993) in fish 
populations of the Illinois River. Poster presented at the 56th Midwest Fish and 
Wildlife Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana, 4-7 December 1994. 

Lerczak, T.V., R.E. Sparks, and K.D. Blodgett. Long-term trends (1959-1994) in fish 
populations of the Illinois River. Poster presented at the Illinois State Academy of 
Science Annual Meeting, Charleston, Illinois, 6 October 1995. 

Lerczak, T.V., R.E. Sparks, and K.D. Blodgett. 1995. Long-term trends (1959- 
1994) in fish populations of the Illinois River with emphasis on upstream-to- 
downstream differences. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Mississippi 
River Research Consortium, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 26-28 April 1995. 

IV. Popular Presentations 

Lerczak, T.V. Wintering bald eagles along the Illinois River and factors affecting 
their environment. Invited presentation to the Peoria Audubon Society, Peoria, 
Illinois, 6 March 1995. 

Lerczak, T.V. Seminar on Illinois River environmental issues. Conducted for 
Biology 140 (Human Ecology) at Spoon River College, 27 June 1994. 

Lerczak, T.V. A photo trip up the Illinois River. After dinner talk presented to 
Havana Rotary Club, Havana, Illinois, 17 April 1995. 

Blodgett, K.D. Ecosystem management for the Illinois River; can biological integrity 
be restored? Invited lecture for Earth Day celebration at Spoon River College, 
Canton , Illinois, 19 April 1995 



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V. Data Requests 

1 . Sam Cull, City of Peru, Electric Department, Box 299, 1415 Water St , Peru, 
Illinois 61354 

2. Stanley and Associates, Muscatine, Iowa 

3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island 



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